HSE Pioneers Master's Education in Science, Technology and Innovation
The HSE is launching a new Master's Programme ‘Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation’ . We spoke to the head of the programme Dirk Meissner, Deputy Head of the Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies at HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge about this opportunity.
The HSE is launching a new Master's Programme ‘Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation’. This programme is open to graduates from different fields; students with a background in natural sciences, engineering or mathematics as well as students with a social sciences and humanities background are all welcome. The programme is a real interdisciplinary curriculum, organised and taught by leading international and Russian experts. We spoke to the head of the programme Dirk Meissner, Deputy Head of the Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies at HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge about this opportunity.
— What's the programme about? Why it is being launched this year at the HSE?
Booklet about the programme
Official website of the programme
— The HSE programme is about understanding, exploring and developing the interaction of science, technology and innovation with society, organisations and countries and achieving real impact on well being and wealth of people. We understand innovation as doing new things and initiate change with science and technology being the enablers of change. But we know this works only if policy and business share this ambition. This is why our programme integrates policy and business management. Students learn to look for ideas and develop them further into results which are innovations, change behaviors and the life of people but also learn to design policies consistent with these goals. You can imagine that there are only a few people who already have these competences. Until now there has been a clear shortage of such qualified people, hence the labour market is increasingly demanding professionals who possess an understanding of this. Our graduates will be educated to meet this challenge and be enablers of innovation.
Look at the big high-tech companies in South Korea; 20 years ago they were not developing anything like high-tech. However, in the 1990s they took concentrated actions including training students in technology and innovation management and policy. Today Korean companies like Samsung, LG and Hyundai are global leaders in technology and innovation. We know how this was done and it can be done even better.
— What makes this new programme different?
— We give students the opportunity to learn about the management of innovation and policy – this means learning about change for the better. Our students will meet with and learn from high level experts from Europe, North America, Asia and Russia who come from leading innovation companies and organisations – that is, people who know how everything really works. Consequently, our students will have a broader understanding of how technology and innovation are generated, applied, and the impacts that can be expected. This is a major advantage for our prospective graduates because they are equipped with knowledge and competences to build business careers, careers in policy institutions, or become academics.
— How could you describe the ideal student applying for this master's programme?
— We are looking for students who are excited about entering new grounds and have an entrepreneurial spirit. We want students to uncover problems and challenges and to develop solutions. Students should be open minded in many respects. Our students have different higher educational backgrounds; ranging from natural sciences like physics, biology and chemistry to management, legal, sociology, mathematics. Our multidisciplinary students will work together in teams to solve challenges and tasks. This requires open minds that accept different thinking and understanding of ways to solve problems. We believe that communication with people from other fields is enlightening, they know something you have never heard of and often solve similar problems in different ways. There is a great opportunity to enrich each other.
— Could you tell us something about the team of experts who will be leading the education process?
— We bring together leading experts from Russia and around the world. Internationally respected thought leaders from many recognized universities and think-tanks are participants and part of the programme faculty. International lecturers join us from the Manchester University (Great Britain), University of Ottawa (Canada), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) (Switzerland), Aalto University (Finland), Lund University (Sweden), Joaneum Research Vienna and Center for Social Innovation (Austria) and the Chinese Academy of Science, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We’re very proud to have attracted experts from such a wide variety of excellent institutions to be engaged with our students.
— Is the programme free of charge? What's the financial aspect of studying?
— We are offering 20 places free of charge for students. But we have already negotiated with several companies and ministries to provide additional grants for students. In February, we have an Olympiad for students from CIS and the Baltic states – those who succeed will receive places free of charge. As classes are mainly on evenings and Saturdays, students may take part time employment as well.
— What do you think the employment prospects will be for students?
— Graduates will have many opportunities for employment. Graduates from foreign universities with degrees in science and innovation policy often take different positions in national ministries and agencies as well as in international organisations. Graduates with specialisation in innovation management frequently take influential positions in companies; such as managing research and development or company strategy units of consulting companies. The programme opens a range of potential employment opportunities; both in companies and government. We have received positive reactions from many international companies and organisations operating in Russia and abroad. These employers have already expressed interest in offering internships and subsequent employment.
— Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
— We have a strong international orientation. Students are encouraged to spend some time abroad, completing modules and attending courses at partner institutions. We accept credits from foreign universities as long as they meet our programmes’ requirements. In a few weeks, I can offer a list of which universities’ courses will be accepted. This list will include the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich currently ranked 12 in Times Higher Education and 20 in the Shanghai rating. We also invite international students to spend some time in Moscow attending our courses for credit at their home universities. We follow a similar process for internships. Students are encouraged to take an internship abroad. As our programme is truly international, students can write their Master’s thesis under the supervision of either a local or foreign professor.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for the HSE news service